Three members of the innovative punk rock band Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in prison on the incredulous charges of “hooliganism”. supporters of the band were heard chanting “Shame!” outside the courtroom after the members were sentenced. The band were formally arrested in March of this year after their performance of “punk prayer” held at Christ the Savior Cathedral, one of Moscow’s main religious establishments. when they performed in protest to Russian ruler Vladimir Putin.
In their closing statements before sentencing, the three very classy ladies in their closing statements professed to how freedom of speech was necessary function in a society unfortunately to no avail. The eloquent and philosophical wording from the members reflects the band’s longtime support of gay rights performing in multiple gay pride festivities in Russia.
The push for more stringent and discriminatory laws are being seen as a result of more public voicing of activists for gay rights. Some supporters feel that the band were charged because of their “queer, feminist or left-leaning” especially in light of the newer laws in Russia that have banned gay pride parades and even some places looking to make homosexuality illegal.
The Judge proceeding the trial determined that the band had “crudely undermined social order.” The Judge who took three long hours to read the verdict, elaborated her sentencing stating “Considering the nature and degree of the danger posed by what was done, the defendants’ correction is possible only through an actual punishment,Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, all kept their cool as the sentence was read and peacefully were led out in handcuffs.
Officials from Amnesty Internatioonal are concerned the sentence saying the sentencing feels “disproportionate” and that the harsh judgment will have “negative impact on freedom of expression”, and that they need to “to review this case” .
Their arrest and subsequent trial has sparked worldwide support from gay activist and advocates. Music icon Madonna, a long time supporter and advocate of LGBT rights, has supported the band even wearing some of their trademark outfits and painting the band’s name Pussy Riot on her back while performing in Russia.
Support for the band continues to grow with petitions calling for these classy rockers freedom with well over 120000 signatures.